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Bad Condo Association, Mortgage already underwater. What to do?

Hi ZillowCommunity, I wanted to know if anyone can suggest a direction for someone in my circumstance:

In Oct2006 I bought a small, 3rd floor condo for $145k about an hour west of Boston in a small "tight knit" 4 unit association. At the time the condo association was doing OK; not much in the bank, but the members were paying on time and everything seemed to be going well without a management company.  In the last 4 years, a series of events and circumstances have thrust the condo association into turmoil, not the least was a unit foreclosure by FannieMae and the pressing issue of 2 out of 4 units not paying their monthly condo dues for the last 19 months.  Currently, the Association's insurance company has told us to replace a section of leaking roof and re-shingle nearly the entirety of the rest of the roof.

The condo association's common roof is leaking into my unit and now the insurance company is telling us we'll be un-insurable if the damaged section of the roof isn't repaired and a further section re-shingled before March2011 when our policy is up for renewal. Due to the financial issues of units not paying and the extreme cost of having such a large roof section re-shingled,  I'm not sure what I can do to have any kind of positive outcome for me and my family. I have the money to pay both my condo dues and the assessment for my unit's share of the roof repair; but without the other units to pay, what can I possibly do?

On top of it all, FannieMae is selling the unit that went into foreclosure for less than 1/2 of what I paid for my unit, and my "Zestimate" is at $119k (paid $145k) – even before the unit is sold.

Myself, my wife of 2 years and my 1month old baby girl are in a very bad situation here, and I'm not sure what my options are!

Does anyone know of a good local RealEstate lawyer or someone that I can talk to that can go over my options (walk away, sue the other units, Anything else? )

HELP!
  • October 28 2010 - Town of Clinton
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Answers (12)

It depends on how decisions are to be made according to the condo docs.  Consult a lawyer about the possibility of getting the authority to repair the roof and force payment by the other owners.  As part of the sale of the bank owned unit you may be able to get that unit's share. A lawyer may also be able to help you collect the "owed" condo fees on the behalf of the association. 
  • October 29 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
If you want to ask an attorney or find one in your area, the state bar referral service is a good resource. You might also try the avvo legal forum here where you can post a question and local attorneys from your area will answer for free.

You may need more help, but it might get you started in the right direction. I am sorry that you are dealing with this. I know it hard, but you have to do what is best for your family first. Get good advice and make the decision you need to for the health of your daughter. The money will fall into place.
  • October 29 2010
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Sorry to hear about your situation and the future does not look bright from what you are telling me.  Please tell me if you are interested in keeping your unit or do you want to leave it because it may involve a short sale as opposed to a Loan Modification.  Feel free to contact me and I can go over these options with you.

  • October 29 2010
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Profile picture for Bruce Cadden
I have used Goldman, Shapiro, & Lombardi for condo law matters in RI and MA. Their website is www.goshlaw.com. Good Luck
  • October 29 2010
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Get with the other owner that is currently paying the condo fee and discuss this with the non-foreclosed unit that isn't paying and fine out why they are not paying.  Possibly they cannot afford it but maybe they just don't want to pay because they feel it is a lost cause.  Then meet with an attorney from the other recommendations.  The 2 or 3 of you can split the cost.

If 3 of the 4 agree to pay the condo fee, you can possibly stay afloat until the foreclosed unit is sold.  Unless you are planning on selling soon, the value of your units does not pose an immediate problem, allowing the building to deteriorate is.
  • October 29 2010
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Consult a local real estate attorney

www.yourleaderinluxury.com
  • October 28 2010
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Mark Shaffer 508-877-7880
  • October 28 2010
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Hi!

Give Rick Misitano a call at Attorney James Bosco's office.  They specialize in tricky situations like yours.  I'm sure they'll offer you sound advice, and in my experience they are very affordable.  Their website is below, you'll find all their contact information there.  Tell them I sent you!

www.jamesboscolaw.com

Good luck, I feel your pain!! 

Kristin
  • October 28 2010
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Does anyone know of a good local Real Estate lawyer or someone that I can talk to that can go over my options.

For those who failed to read to the END of his question, he's asking for a referral for a real estate attorney.

Telling him he 'needs to talk to an attorney' is not what he wants. He wants an attorney referral.

Here's a link to the Massachusetts Bar Association. They have a referral system that can help you find an attorney in your area.

http://www.massbar.org/for-the-public/need-a-lawyer

  • October 28 2010
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I work often with a great Real Estate firm in Springfield, MA. They may be able to give you some advice and also refer you to a great Real Estate Attorney in your area. The office is Dunn and Phillips and their number is 413-787-9955. Ask to speak with Neil Phillips and tell him I referred you and they should be able to guide you in the right direction.
Good luck!
  • October 28 2010
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I absolutely agree with Pat, you need to talk to an attorney ASAP to explore your legal options. Especially if water is leaking into your unit before the situation gets worse.
  • October 28 2010
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You are in a serious situation.  Rather than ask Zillow members for apossible answers, You need to consult with an Attorney who handles residential real estate matters, especially condominium law.
  • October 28 2010
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